Penguins, Polar Bears and Sea Ice


Part 4 The last of Jim Steele’s presentation “Climate Change: More Optimism, More Debate given to the IEEE Life Members. Jim Steele is the past Director of san Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus and author of Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.


Part 1 Climate Sensitivity and Drought: Landscape Changes vs CO2

Part 2 Droughts and Heatwaves: Ocean Oscillations vs CO2

Part 3 Recovering Whales, Ocean Acidification, and Climate Horror Stories


28 thoughts on “Penguins, Polar Bears and Sea Ice

      • Good point, but even in zoos, polar bears & penguins are kept well apart, so that the former don’t eat the latter.

        In Antarctica, Weddell seals will eat penguins if given the chance. And other seals.

  1. Maybe there’s hope for IEEE. I let my membership lapse a few years ago because of the environmental bull crap they were shoveling at me. Dues were high enough that I couldn’t justify thowing any more money their way.

    • Way too many “professional” organizations have been highjacked into becoming shills for the baloney artists. I let my membership in the IEEE and AGU lapse long ago for that reason. As you point out, the IEEE dues were excessive for the service delivered.

  2. Many of the “studied” penguins died because the bands attached to their flippers, in some adverse way, affected them. Other penguins were huddled together to share warmth, but were “herded” by researchers, presumably trying to assess the numbers of the penguin population by segregating those penguins that had been tallied, away from those that had not yet been counted. In doing so, some lost the warmth of being huddled together, and that affected their survival. Also, researchers sometimes caused a male to drop his egg; even momentarily, cooling the egg and causing mortality, or catastrophically, causing egg breakage.

  3. Jim . Glad to see your emphasis on natural cycles. Unless we know where we are relative to the natural cycles we can’t begin to estimate the small effect of anthropogenic CO2. The temperature projections of the IPCC forecasts have no foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently useless and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless. A new forecasting paradigm needs to be adopted. See

    This post provides forecasts of the probable 650 years of coming cooling based on the 60 and 1000 year natural periodicities ( Figs 5 and 15 in the link) clearly seen in the temperature data and using the 10 Be and neutron record as the most useful proxy for solar “activity” on recent millennial time scales . We are just past the peak of the latest 1000 year cycle The simplest working hypothesis is that we are about to repeat the general temperature trends from 1000 AD on.
    The climate conversation needs to move away from the useless reductionist IPCC approach towards discussion of the timing and amplitude of the natural cycles and an understanding of the important regional differences in we might expect on a cooling world.

  4. “I don’t vote for hardly anybody these days.”

    What a disappointing way to end a good presentation. More alarmism is inspired by politics than by science. So if you really want to help science, you should vote against those who seek to destroy science by politicizing it. When intelligent people don’t vote, the worst candidate, who is usually the most deceptive candidate, tends to win. Politics may seem too complicated to bother with, but it’s a lot less complicated than climate science. Even when neither candidate is clearly superior, there is almost always a “lessor of two evils” to vote for.

    • ….”Even when neither candidate is clearly superior, there is almost always a “lessor of two evils” to vote for.”
      And such a choice satisfies you ?

      Now I’m disappointed.

      • When the options presented are McLame and Obola? (2008) Yes, the lesser of two evils. To your point: Not satisfied and very disappointed.

        For all my friends who voted for the greater evil and are slowly waking up I have a few snarky comments.

    • The essence of voting is voting for the lesser of ‘two evils’, because in reality the only candidate who would ever satisfy you completely would be… you.

      So you have to pick from two other candidates. Pick the one closest to your point of view: the so-called ‘lesser of two evils’.

      It beats hell out of not voting.

    • I am not suggesting people do not vote. Personally I can only vote for some one I truly like. Most recently I have voted LIbertarian base on general principals but they are such a minority, mixed bad of beliefs and their candidates are usually not inspiring.

  5. The best part is the part about the penguins. In another sense it’s the worst part, because it’s completely outrageous.

    So, the graph shows a decline in penguin numbers, and a straight line showing a temperature increase. The first obvious question: instead of a meaningless straight line, why didn’t it show the actual temperature measurements?

    Answer: because the data from the local weather station showed zero temperature increase.

    Conclusion: the decline had nothing to do with temperature and may even have been caused by the scientists themselves, as Jim Steele indicated.

    Further conclusion: the person who made this graph is a scientific fraud.

    Final conclusion: because this alarmism is costing the world trillions of dollars some of these scientific frauds seriously need to be behind bars.

  6. Polar Bears feast on young Ring Seal pups. Adult seals escape quickly. Seals – even pups – escape quickly in open water. Seals come up to breathing holes in the ice, and bears catch and feast on the young pups. If the sea-ice is too thick, seals will move (plus, thick ice affects what the seals eat, so the seals hang out in waters that provide their food). Thus, bears will find the “right ice” -not too thick, not too thin, where the seals are, which is a balance between seal food, and breathing holes through the ice. Bears wander to find the right feasting grounds, and scientists don’t necessarily follow the bears, resulting in haphazard population counts. Polar Bears’ feasting on Ring Seal pups is tied to when the pups are born, so, bears feast in the February-June time frame. Sea-ice declines in the June-September “summer” season, so, even if the sea-ice is in a “bad year”, the timing of the decline isn’t when the Ring Seal pups are plentiful, so a “bad year” (or years) for sea-ice has little effect on Polar Bear populations… but it affects Polar Bear locations.

  7. It isn’t what ya DONT KNOW, what gets ya. It’s what you KNOW that AIN’T SO. Penguin researchers KNOW that penguins return to the same place, year after year. However, researchers (and runway construction) annoyed the penguins so much, that they moved. Researchers thought they died. It wasn’t until space satellite photographs detected poop-stains elsewhere, that researchers discovered “new” penguin populations… which pretty much DOUBLED the “penguin population” that researchers knew about.

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